Monday, December 21, 2009

3/4 Petrol Tank Rule

All cars leaving Singapore must have the petrol tanks filled to 3/4 tank full.

Lately, Malaysia has also come up with a ruling that does not allow foreign registered vehicles to pump more than 20 litres of petrol at any petrol stations within 50 km of any exit points.

What is the rationale for this decision?

For Singapore, it seems that the Government wants to prevent people from crossing over to Malaysia to buy cheap petrol. This 3/4 tank ruling was put in place so as to prevent that. The government earns revenue from taxes placed on petrol and this measure would help to prevent any loss in revenue.

For Malaysia, it seems that they have a problem with fuel smuggling especially at the border with Thailand. As the Malaysian government heavily subsidises the petrol, they do not want these subsidies to be passed on to foreigners.

What about the consumer?

A lot of people are clearly unhappy with these rulings but it seems that this will not go away anytime soon.

The amount of money I could save if I pumped my petrol at malaysia would be tremendous. I could easily spend half the money that I usually would on petrol. Never mind the inconvenience.

The best I can deal with this now is to make sure that I pump just up to 3/4 tank when I leave Singapore for any trip to Malaysia. I then make sure that I pump a full tank before arriving back in Singapore.

For those worried about the 20 litre rule, just make sure that you pump once before entering the 50 km radius of the Johor CIQ or Tuas Checkpoint.

I have also heard that some petrol stations are not as strict and simply let you pump 20 litres, reset the pumps and then pump 20 litres again. It will be extremely hard for anyone to police this as the petrol stations also do not want to lose money just because of a ruling. There are many grey areas as nothing is stopping motorists from pumping at multiple stations within the 50km radius.

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